Friday , March 24 2023

Brazil storm victims include 18 children


SAO PAULO: The death toll from floods and landslides in southeast Brazil a week ago was officially increased to 64 Sunday, as the search continued for one missing person.

Among the confirmed toll, 18 were children, the Sao Paulo state government said in a statement.

More than an entire February’s worth of rain fell in 24 hours on the picturesque beach resort town of Sao Sebastiao and surrounding areas last weekend.

Authorities said the largest daily rainfall ever registered in Brazil triggered violent floods and landslides that tore through precariously built hillside communities.

According to the G1 news site, quoting civil defense authorities, one person remained missing Sunday, down from dozens initially.

More than 2,400 people were displaced by the downpour which washed away homes, roads, clinics and other infrastructure.

An estimated 9.5 million of Brazil’s 215 million people live in areas at high risk of flooding or landslides mainly poor favela neighborhoods.

The South American country has been hit by a series of deadly weather disasters in recent years, which experts say are likely being made worse by climate change.

At least 40 people have been killed in flooding and landslides in Brazil’s Sao Paulo state, officials say.

Dozens of people are missing and while the number of dead is expected to rise, rescue workers say they hope to pull some of those trapped in flooded homes out of the mud alive.

Video showed neighborhoods under water, inundated motorways and debris left after houses were swept away.

Carnival celebrations have been cancelled in a number of cities.

In the coastal town of Sao Sebastiao, 627mm of rain fell in 24 hours, twice the expected amount for the month.

The state government reported at least 35 deaths in São Sebastiao and in Ubatuba, some 80km (50 miles) north-east, a seven-year-old girl was killed when a boulder weighing two tonnes hit her home.

Hundreds have been displaced and evacuated.

“Unfortunately, we are going to have many more deaths,” a civil defence official told newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo.

State Governor Tarcisio de Freitas said he had released the equivalent of $1.5m (£1.2m) in funding to aid in disaster relief. (Int’l Monitoring Desk)

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